Arrowtown has two options for public transport around the basin: the Orbus scheduled service and Savy on-demand minibuses. (There are also several taxi companies and Uber started operations here in 2018.)
Otago Regional Council’s subsidised Orbus service will take you anywhere on their Queenstown bus network for a $2 fare. You can pop your bike on the front (maximum two bikes) and even enjoy free wifi.
To get the $2 fares you’ll need to use a GoCard smartcard to pay for your ride. GoCards can be bought on the bus (cash only), at Queenstown Airport or at the O’Connell’s Mall kiosk for $5. The minimum top up for GoCards is $10. GoCards can be topped up anywhere they’re sold, and an online top-up system is planned.
The service can be used without a GoCard by paying cash on board, with a cash fare of $5 per trip for an adult and $3 for a child – or for trips that begin or end at the airport, $10 for an adult and $5 for a child.
The Arrowtown return route runs from Arrowtown Four Square to Arthurs Point, via Ramshaw Lane, Lake Hayes Road, Quail Rise, Frankton and Queenstown. The first bus leaves the Four Square at 6.02am and the last arrives back at 10.54pm. In between they operate every half hour during peak times and every hour off peak.
The Arrowtown stops are:
- Ramshaw Lane behind the museum
- Centennial Avenue by the holiday park
- Adamson Drive near the Four Square.
At Frankton you can switch buses on the same fare to get to the airport, Remarkables Park, Kelvin Heights, Lake Hayes Estate, Jacks Point and Fernhill. Just make sure you tell the first driver what your final destination is so you get the right ticket.
To help plan your trip there’s an browser-based journey planner on the ORC website or you can use NZTA’s real-time Choice app (download from App Store or Google Play).
There is also a downloadable timetable and map.
Savy is an app-based on-demand transport service where rides are pooled, making it cheaper than a taxi. Travel is in 10 seat vans with the possibility you will be sharing with other passengers for part or all of the journey.
Savy covers Arrowtown, Lake Hayes Estate and Shotover Country, Quail Rise, Frankton, Queenstown, Kelvin Heights and Jacks Point (there is a premium fare if your journey involves Arrowtown or Jacks Point). You are informed of the pickup location at the time you make your booking.The service operates from 6am to 11pm Sunday to Thursday; and 6am to 1am Friday and Saturday.